Case Comparison: Religion

Reynolds v. United States & Engel v. Vitale

Reynolds v. United States

Overview

In Utah, George Reynolds challenged the United States claiming that the anti-bigamy statute , an act that made having more than one spouse, violated the First Amendment right of free religious practice.


Ruling

The federal anti-bigamy law does not violate the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. The statute stands and those who violate the act can be punished criminally despite religious practices.

Engel v. Vitale

Overview

In the state of New York, public schools were required to open thee school day with nondenominational prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Although participation wasn't required, a parent took offense to the requirement and sued of his child's behalf.


Ruling

The requirement of prayer in schools violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which prohibits the establishment of an official religion.

Freedom of Religion: Crash Course Government and Politics #24